Monday, April 30, 2012
After a long, busy Friday, I took Anthony, Yana, Olya and a few of their friends to the homeschool spring formal. They had an amazing time, and I absolutely loved watching them smile, dance, and have a blast! Everyone looked amazing! I plan to post pictures later in the week.
We didn't get home from the formal until nearly midnight and was up at 4am for our Applebee's Flapjack Fundraiser (yawn!). The fundraiser was a success!! Thank you so very much to Kristin, Maria, my teens and their friends for for helping out! And thank you to everyone who came and ate, those who bought tickets but didn't make it, and those who donated! Due to everyone's generous contributions, we raised $418!! AND we had a great time! Thank you Applebee's!!
Then Saturday afternoon, we received a surprise check in the mail. Anthony and Yana had oral surgery early this year to have their wisdom teeth removed. We paid quite a bit of money out of pocket but have been waiting for the insurance portion to be processed (hopeful we would not owe more). Well, apparently we paid more than necessary and received a patient refund of $116! Not sure what kid it was for as it only listed a patient number but I think it would make sense to assume that another check for the same amount should be coming soon for the other.
As usual, I turned off my phone Sunday before I walked into church. It was such a pleasant surprise to turn it back on and see the notification that someone donated $10 through our ChipIn! God is good!!
As if that wasn't encouragement enough, after leaving church and driving to Charlotte to drop off a friend of my kids', I receive a phone call from our church. It turns out an anonymous donor within our congregation donated $1,000 towards Alyssa and Piper's adoption!!! THANK YOU, JESUS!!
I have updated our fundraiser thermometer (on the right) ...I love doing that...and feel so encouraged! We still have a ways to go but God is certainly chipping away at that mountain before us. I only sometimes wish He'd chip faster or in bigger chunks (lol) but that $1000 was a pretty nice chunk!!
Oh and let me not forget to ask you to please pray for the sweet angel, Aleksa, on Reece's Rainbow. My heart is aching for her. I wish we could adopt her too. Please pray her mommy and daddy find her soon. I can't stop thinking about her. :(
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
WE RECEIVED OUR VERBAL REFERRAL!!!!!
That means that means that the governement where the girls are, approved our dossier and will be moving forward to sign the necessary docuements (the written referral) for us to travel for our first trip to meet Alyssa and Piper!! I am over-the-top ecstatic. I can't wait to meet the girls, to hug and kiss them, and learn about their precious personalities.
If there are no unexpected delays, we very well could have that written referral in 3 weeks! That also means we will get a travel date...which we will book flights for IMMEDIATELY, likely just 1-2 weeks from the time we receive that written referral!
Please pray that this written referral will come quickly and God will continue to provide the funds needed to travel. We are still approximately $6700 shy of what we need at that time.
Did I mention we also received another $100 donation from a couple in our church family!! Thank you, Jesus!
Saturday is our Applebee's Flapjack Fundraiser and I'm so very happy to report that we have now had over 50 ticket sales! It's not a huge amount of money, but every dollar adds up. Prayerfully additional donations will come from the event.
Still praying for the families in my blog prayer circle! Excited to see others raising funds and getting moving along in the process too. It's definitely helped my heart to be in prayer for them and getting to rejoice with them. God is so faithful!!
Oh my! How could I forget to share about my excitement that TWO friends are in the process of committing to children in the same country as our girls!!! I am absolutely thrilled for these families and children. One of the children I was not aware of, but the other grabbed my heart as soon as I saw her. There is another little girl tugging on my heart strings (and no, as stinkin' adorable as she is, I do not feel God is calling US to be her parents), and I am hopeful she will be matched with a family soon. Last I heard, through the grapevine, she had a family working on her commitment docs, I am anxious to find out if that continues to be the case. Anyway, much to rejoice about!
Thursday, April 19, 2012
1. The winner of the Mountain Resort Giveaway is there now!! I cannot wait to hear how their trip was. I requested pictures to post but was told that they would use a "stand-in" family for those shots lol I said scenic pics will suffice but we want to see how it really was out there. Our first place winners couldn't make the trip :( and I was bummed too because they have blessed us several times over through this adoption and are new friends of mine...so very thankful for that! But our second place winners are dear friends and of our church family! They continue to also be a tremendous help and blessing throughout this adoption. And no the drawing was not rigged :)
2. Our Applebee's Flapjack Fundraiser is a week from Saturday! While we have not had an enormous amount of ticket sales, I AM VERY THANKFUL that we at least had enough to move forward with the event. We do need to turn in an official headcount this week, so if you were planning to buy tickets please do not hold out any longer. As Nike says, JUST DO IT!
Lastly, I have found a few other families in the process of adoption, also in need of funds, who have agreed to somewhat of a prayer circle. I have decided that since the Lord knows our needs and has heard our cries, I am going to lay our needs at His feet and pray fervently for these other families. I want God to bless them and I want to rejoice with them when He does. If you would also prayerfully consider donating to any of them and/or praying for them please do! You can find most of them on the blogroll I posted on the bottom left-hand side below the longer adoption blog-roll.
Monday, April 16, 2012
Today I posted in a private group for families who have adopted multiple children with special needs. I'm in a bit of a funk today, probably just hormonal, and I really needed to share. I could not be more grateful about the HUGE response I received from other families that totally "get it" and live it too. I so much wish we had friends nearby living a similar calling.
Many families with multiple special needs children have many areas of life we must "do" differently. For us, one thing is we need to leave almost immediately after church...we can't stay and socialize, though we would like to. With Marni being so active, so curious, so easily overstimulated and so incredibly fast, it is very difficult to keep her calm and entertained after service lets out. No, she's not always the tornado you may have witnessed. No, we don't leave because we are unsocial either. Yes, we WANT greatly to fellowship with our church family, but staying is much too stressful. Marni is much better in a calmer, familiar atmosphere. Even strapped into her car seat in our van is comforting to her. Most often, she will calm down immediately upon having been strapped in.
Going out to lunch after service is not feasible either. Aside from the tremendous cost of feeding our large family, Marni would also likely find it difficult to "chill" at a restaurant after the excitement of church, then being out with a large group of people (anyone more than just us, basically), and it's nap time. A great combination for failure...so we skip out.
Having a child in a wheelchair (our sweet Nadia) and a curious, lightning speed runner (precious Marni), also means very limited activities outside our home that are conducive to both children's needs:
Monkey Joes - terrible for Nadia's legs and climbing requires teen or adult assistance.
Chucky Cheese - in addition to being somewhere I can't stand to be and cringe at the idea of wasting my money there, it is much too overstimulating for Marni and we'd guarantee ourselves a meltdown and lots of difficult behavior.
The park - Ha! Marni would run off or climb as high as she can although she has poor balance and inadequate judgement (dangerous!). Nadia can't do much and requires constant physical assistance...there'd be no relaxing and conversation, just lots of hard work.
Most anyone else's house - New territory for Marni to explore and boy will she explore. A young childproofed home is not safe enough. Marni may explore like a curious toddler but much more clever...great "problem solving skills" (if she wants to get to it, she will figure out how). She is also much taller and therefore can reach higher. She can open doors and run out. If she wants a drink, she will grab every glass that is in reach.
Nadia needs clean floors to crawl on. Most times a wheelchair will not satisfy her need to get around in a house and often there just isn't enough room. When other children run out the door to play outside, she can't go...not unassisted anyway, and what will she do when she gets there....surely not just sit and watch like she did at the orphanage. Again, it is incredibly stressful and no adult conversation will get very far.
Because of this, we find ourselves creating a small world for ourselves and our younger children. We stay home. That's not to say we don't go to the zoo, or the movies, or shopping or whatever but for the most part home is best. Our home is Marni-proofed. Our home is safe for both of our little girls. We have very few close friends that come to visit. We enjoy their company and love having company over; it is likely the only place we can really relax and enjoy fellowship with others.
What you may not realize, or may not have before reading this post, is that we would love to fellowship more with our friends and church family but are limited in how we can do that. We hesitate to invite people over that are not already close friends of ours because I make the assumption that most people prefer not to be around the liveliness that our family is. We live a distance from the church and assume that asking people to come over would be inconvenient for them.
Usually it does not get to me that our world is small, but today...today I'm really wishing that the whole world was just a little bit smaller so we had some of those great large and special needs families nearby. How cool would it be to have friends close by that had a totally safe and fun environment for our kids and our home was the same for them. My conversations today proved that most of us live the same way. There wasn't anyone upset about it (except when families are not welcome over other families homes), just comes with the territory. Again, I'm okay with it...I just wish we knew more people okay with it that would like to visit our little world more often.
Having multiple kids with special needs truly is one of the greatest blessings I've ever have known, I really mean that. There is nothing that compares to loving a child, so wholly and completely despite their special needs...and probably even more because of how those special needs has helped them to become even more amazing people. Tucking them in at night. Knowing you are the one they love and trust most. Knowing them more intimately than anyone else. The love and patience that God has grown in our hearts is something that too few people know.
So for now, we are working towards making our little world (home) all those fun kid places right here. God will provide all we need to do that, leaning in to Him and trusting things will all come together through His perfect plan.
(Matthew 6:33) Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Friday, April 13, 2012
Apparently the MOJ did not meet this week and are off for Easter break next week. Their next meeting isn't until the 25th. So we continue to wait for a verbal referral :(
Its okay...Gods timing is always perfect. Trusting Him and continuing to wait on His provision.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
I don't believe God wants me to keep pushing for the funds but to sit patiently.
Last week we received approximately $900 in donations! I cannot tell you how encouraging and what a blessing it had been. I keep waiting to login and find a large sum of money has been donated to our account. Its not that I think anyone owes it to us or necessarily that anyone should (unless the Lord is prompting you to), its just that I believe the Lord has a plan and it will unfold without all the planning and laboring.
Alyssa and Piper are His children. The desire for us to adopt them was first His. It is their lives that hang in the balance, not ours. I'm not saying that to say that it doesn't matter to us, it most certainly does, He has given me a mother's heart for these girls for sure. I say that because this is not about us (obviously it is to an extent) but this is THEIR ransom. This is part of His redemption plan for THEM. He has already worked out all the details and put things in motion. We now need to only truly "work" on keeping our hearts and eyes on Him.
Praying, praying, praying!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
Friday, April 6, 2012
"pregnancy" cravings in overdrive. Just sent Dan to the store for dark chocolate, pumpkin seeds, and potato chips! There must be a dossier submission happening ;)
This morning I posted:
My "pregnancy" hormones are right one target!!! Our dossier was SUBMITTED TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THANK YOU JESUS!!!!
The questions was asked:
Any idea how long til you hear something or get an invite?
And my response:
I *think* one week for a verbal referral, about 3 weeks from that point to a written referral, then we can travel to meet the girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So in about 4 weeks (prayerfully), I'll know when we are traveling (could be as quick as one week after we receive our verbal referral...which would be perfect because I will have just finished my semester :) )
We are on our way!!! Thank you, Jesus!! Now let's continue to pray for zero obstacles, God's perfect timing, and a fully funded adoption!!
And thank you again to those who donated! We had a t-shirt sale and another $80 donation yesterday!! God is soooo good to us! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Thank you for sharing the love of Jesus with us and being His hands and feet!!
Happy Good Friday!!
Thursday, April 5, 2012
encouragement. We received another $50 donation from friends in our
church family and a $20 donation that brought tears to my eyes.
The $50 donation made me smile beyond just gratitude. The friend that
gave it to me said, "The Lord told me to give it to you on Sunday." This was Tuesday night. :) I didn't ask if the "delay" was hesitance or logistical...I just assumed hesitance and had to laugh because how often do we all do that. I know there are times, not necessarily with money, when I am reluctant to obey something the Lord has called me to do...you know, I just have to be sure it is the Lord first. *giggle* And I love how the Lord completely understands and loves me through it.
I had mentioned in a previous post about saving money that we give our
teens $25 a month "allowance" for snack money; that money really can be
spent on any reasonable thing they want or even saved for something
bigger or more expensive. Each one of my teens have been learning about
tithing (to their youth group) and trusting God by letting go of that
money. Some of my teens began tithing right away, others more slowly, and one even a tad bit slower. :) Some tithe the exact 10%, others tithe more. About a month ago I heard about one of my teens donating $20 to a fundraiser to help cure children's cancer. I was blown away by how the Lord has obviously been working on this particular teens
heart...one of my teens that always has a plan for where the money will be spent even before he has it.
2 days ago (or so), one of my daughters handed me $20 (after having tithed the rest of her months allowance) and said somethig like, "I want my little sisters to come home. I don't need it." As my eyes filled with tears, I just looked at her and said, "Really?" I know she
wants her sisters home, but she is giving up a lot of freedom (in a
sense) by giving away all of her money. She went on to tell me that she
thought about it and she doesn't need any of that otherr stuff, she just wants her sisters come home. She is well aware of how quickly we need a large amount of money to make that happen. After asking why I was looking at her the way I was and what was wrong with me (lol), I accepted the money and a huge hug. Wow! I love seeing God work in the hearts of my children.
So little by little we are getting closer. I have no complaints about that, but it sure would be nice if God would "feed the multitude" with what has already been given. Wouldn't it be wonderful if He multiplied these love offerings and called it "done" (fully funded)? We have about $7500 still needed for this next phase of the adoption, just a few
weeks away. I'm still praying we will travel in May (it's very possible
and most likely). Of course, the need could be more depending on plane
tickets. After we return we will still need another $4000 (again, maybe
more, depending on plane tickets) for the final phase. That means we are looking at needing a minimum of another close to $12,000 to complete Alyssa and Piper's adoption. Would you please pray with me for God move mountains today? For God to fully fund this adoption right here and now so we can focus on the other areas that need to be tended to in preparation for the girls homecoming (such as bedrooms, carseats, etc.). This is not at all beyond what God can do. If you would come together with us and pray in faith for it do be done, perhaps we will see that it is His will to do so.
Thank you so much for all who have given and those who will be touched
by God to do the same.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
Sunday, April 1, 2012
The Mary Kay fundraiser was a blessing and the funds have been added to our adoption fees raised! Thank you, Veronica!! <3
Between yesterday and today we received donations of $20, $50, $100 and $200! Thank you so much! You all are such a tremendous blessing!!
Please pray that each donation so selflessly given will be multiplied and we will have all the funds needed to meet the girls, PRAYERFULLY, next month!! We have about $7500 more to go! Please keep praying!!
And don't forget the Mountain Resort Giveaway is still going on until April 5th! Every donation through our ChipIn or through our church of $10 or more will enter your name for a chance to win!! See this post for more details! Mountain Resort Giveaway! Share on your blog or Facebook and also be entered to win!!